Introduction Best Productivity Applications
When picking a time monitoring tool, it is important to comprehend the many different types of tools available. Tools like Mavenlink, Wrike, and Zoho Projects all include robust time monitoring features for professional services businesses. However, the time tracking features in such tools are available only within larger project management (PM) suites. As a result, you’re paying a lot more cash for things like file storage, in-app chat, progress reports, and change management. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will discover pure play time tracking tools like Hubstaff (which begins at $5 per month per user) and TSheets, our Editors’ Choice tool for time tracking. Best Productivity Applications
Characteristics and Usage
Hubstaff’s user interface (UI) was created with an attractive left-rail blue navigation bar which leaves plenty of room on the side of your screen for data entry and analysis. When you log into the system, you will be taken to the main dashboard, which provides you an overview of how many hours your employees have worked this day and how many hours they’ve worked over the past seven days. You’ll also see a list of every member, their most recent tasks, and how active they’ve been over the last week. This is a strong PM data visualization that allows you instantly differentiate between workhorses and do-nothings, and it instantly calls to attention projects which are becoming more than enough attention and jobs that are being disregarded.
There are two methods to add time in Hubstaff: You are able to construct manual timesheets with previous hours worked, or you can use the stopwatch feature on Hubstaff’s native desktop program. With the timesheet attribute, you log in your hours since you probably did with pencil and paper during the analog era of time monitoring. Essentially, you work your shift, you add time to your timesheet, and you sign off on it. This is a pretty standard procedure of tracking time. Regrettably, because Hubstaff does not allow you to add future time, you can not use the platform for a shift organizer. Administrators can allow users manually edit formerly submitted timesheets, and they’re able to force users to need a reason to ensure they’re actually adding hours they worked. Admins may also set up the system to remind users to begin monitoring time if they have not clocked to the machine in a little while.
The next, and most bothersome, way of tracking time in Hubstaff is by using the stopwatch feature. In every solution we analyzed, this element can be found within the confines of your web browserevery solution that is, except for Hubstaff. With Hubstaff, you are required to download an native desktop application that lives within a separate window. In it, you can choose your project, press Start, and your timer will begin counting. When you’re done, your activity and your screenshots will be sent to the main hub. The native program will take a picture at random periods of up to 3 shots per hour based on how often the admin would like to spy on workers. Screenshots can be partly fuzzy to not record sensitive information on each grab, but a lot of this screen is left unsullied you’ll still get a feeling of if the display is really on work-related or play-related content. This can be an annoyingly complicated and convoluted way to manually track time, especially if you’re jumping from task to task through the day. Hubstaff must find a way to bring the stopwatch and also screengrab elements to the cloud-based architecture to simplify ease of use.
Tracking time in real time on Hubstaff’s Android and iOS apps is precisely the same as it’s on the desktop program. The mobile programs let admins monitor motions via GPS monitoring. This provides you an overview of just how much motion was performed by your employee by capturing location data at different stages.
The Schedules tab enables you to assign times and dates for employees to do the job. It is possible to put a minimum number of hours to work, a lunch break duration, and you can allow it to be a recurring shift. The tool’s reporting applications is horribly basic: You will receive access to weekly, daily, project, and member view reports as well as a”habit” report which allows you filter data from the aforementioned reports. In comparison to the PM solutions within this course, Hubstaff’s coverage is downright embarrassing consequently, if your goal is to learn and evolve based on if and how your employees handle time, you would be better off working using Zoho Projects, our Editors’ Choice for PM.
Admins receive notifications once they have attained weekly staffing and budget limitations. Invoices are automatically calculated and created depending on the time each worker worked, as well as their related pay rate. You can set up automatic citizenship through PayPal, which enables you to automate payments based on time monitored inside the tool. Remember: Users don’t need to send time through for acceptance, so automatic payments will be made whether workers were right or wrong about the amount of hours they worked. There is no reminder for supervisors to double-check every timesheet before automatic payments move out so, if you’re concerned about making false payments, then it is possible to place PayPal payments to guide. Best Productivity Applications
Price And Alternatives
Hubstaff was built to provide you with Big Brother-level oversight into when workers are working, what they are doing while they operate, and what you want to cover them when the job is finished. The Basic $5-per-month plan gives you access to simple time tracking tools, an employee payment program manager, 24/7 support, and user preferences that can be handled on an employee-by-employee basis. Additionally, this program lets you keep track of whether or not your employees are operating by allowing you document screenshots while they work in addition to monitor mouse and keyboard activity during changes. Of the five tools we’ve analyzed, Hubstaff is the only tool that offered this level of insight into the way that employees are progressing. Although keyboard and screen monitoring are helpful (albeit over-reaching) attributes for a change screen, Hubstaff’s implementation leaves much to be desired (more on this later).
The $9-per-user-per-month Premium plan includes everything you’ll discover in the fundamental plan, but you’ll also have access to Hubstaff’s application programming interface (API) to integrate the application with other third party software. The Premium package also has a lightweight schedulingtool that gives administrators the capability to assign changes and assign tasks from within the console. Premium customers can also use the tool to create invoices and create PayPal payments mechanically. Clients that pay yearly will receive two weeks free (for both price tiers).
Compared to TSheets, its closest competition in our roundup, Hubstaff is fairly priced, especially given the extra monitoring features that are unavailable in competitive tools. TSheets offers a fundamental free accounts, as well as a $4-per-user-per-month account that charges a $16 base fee a month for groups with fewer than 100 users, and a $80 foundation fee per month for groups with more than 100 users. The base fee, which Hubstaff doesn’t charge, makes TSheets slightly more expensive than Hubstaff, even at Hubstaff’s Premium level.
If you are more interested in those hulky PM solutions, then you’ll want to pony up a bit more money. Mavenlink’s cheapest plan that includes time tracking prices $39 per user per month. Zoho’s cheapest time tracking plan is $25 a month for an unlimited number of consumers (that is a pretty solid deal if you need all the extra PM features). Wrike’s lowest time tracking plan costs $24.80 per user per month.
What Should Be Added
Editor’s note: Since our original review of Hubstaff, the business has released a major upgrade in late 2018 that specifically addressed certain feature flaws or omissions, including adding a internet timer, fleshing out reporting choices, and adding action levels and screen tracking. We are going to be testing these attributes shortly and you’ll see the results in an upcoming update to this review.
Besides its draconian screengrab and keystroke tracking, Hubstaff does not do a very good job allowing for deeper shift oversight. For example, Hubstaff doesn’t allow advanced tracking. If you run a trucking business and you are less concerned about the number of hours each trucker drove than the distance driven, then there is no way to handle this in Hubstaff. Users can add notes to a empty text field, but that information won’t be blended into accounts. As a consequence, you can’t use it to learn about who’s functioning, how they’re functioning, and what they are generating (aside from the number of hours monitored ). TSheets not only gives you this choice, it provides you the ability to create six extra customizable advanced tracking fields. You might also add a query for every clock-out (i.e.,”Was there an incident? Yes. No.”) Along with the system forces the user to reply to the questions at the end of every shift or they won’t have the ability to clock out.
As hardcore as Hubstaff is all about tracking work, the tool does not permit for IP address restrictions, so your employees can say they’re working from the office but they can actually be working from a cruise ship in the Bahamas (unless they are using the cell app to track time). This is a standard feature that’s available in virtually every other tool we tested. Hubstaff also does not enable admins to need users to snap a photo when they report to work. I guess it’s overkill to generate somebody take a selfie before you get started recording their display and monitoring their keystrokes, but TSheets lets you place this as a necessity (which makes sense, especially if you’re tracking tasks done out of a computer, like retail, building, or entertainment work). The program also doesn’t let users clock via a telephone call, which is an element TSheets along with other service providers make available for employees who don’t have a smartphone.
Monitoring Employee Work
We have touched on how a number of Hubstaff’s more Big Brother-like attributes factor into time tracking. However, the platform also has many of the hallmarks of worker monitoring tools. Hubstaff’s employee tracking attributes include keystroke logging, URL and application monitoring, GPS and location monitoring, and action screenshots.
Once you place your customers and they download the timer app onto their server, the desktop program not only monitors time but will require screenshots randomly or in custom intervals, such as three screenshots per minute. This applies not just to the user’s most important screen but any attached monitors too. Hubstaff doesn’t log keys but it does track the activity provided through the mouse and keyboard, providing companies a calculation of just how active the employee is. This info all winds up around the Hubstaff dashboard from the Activity tab. This is where you can then pick an individual in the drop-down menu to view their screenshots connected with activity data.
If it comes to application and URL monitoring, Hubstaff goes beyond just tracking time to learn what sites and apps an employee opened or visited and how long they had been there. The Reports section may then run custom queries on vectors like program usage mapped against time and action. Hubstaff integrates with job and job management tools like Asana and Trello to filter reports from specific tasks or projects to track productivity.
1 unique employee monitoring feature offered is GPS location monitoring through Hubstaff’s mobile app. While the mobile app can’t take screenshots or capture mobile app and website activity, it allows you to monitor and log place for workers working in the area. While the depth of tracking data and surveillance features can not measure up to a grid application such as Teramind, our Editors’ Choice for employee tracking, Hubstaff has a helpful choice of attributes for employers that want a bit more oversight. Best Productivity Applications
Hubstaff is a easy-to-administer, feature-rich, time tracking tool. If you’re diligent about tracking employee behaviour while on the clockthen there’s no better software accessible than Hubstaff. You will be able to log screenshots, track keystroke volume, and route moves via GPS monitoring.
Regrettably, if you’re looking for a platform that goes the extra mile to enable customization, atypical information entry, or a more sophisticated reporting arrangement, then Hubstaff will not be perfect for you. Additionally, should you choose a different program, your employees will thank you for not requiring them to download a secondary app for tracking time–particularly when you consider that every other tool we examined makes this potential within the boundaries of their web-based UI. Best Productivity Applications